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June 20, 2024

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By: Joshua Porter

here were a lot of punk rockers lined up outside of the Blue Sapphire Bar in downtown Orlando. Some sitting, others tapping their feet impatiently or thumbing around for the ten bucks they needed for entry.

About 15 minutes before eight, the doors opened and the kids were herded into the small lounge. Luckily I purchased an advance ticket and was able to push my way in through the mass to get inside the dim smoky room. The door opened into a elevated bar lining the walls with a fenced in pit below the stage. I climbed over the black railing and fell into the pit, already crowded with punks leaking in from the streets creating chaos.

After waiting what seemed to be hours and coughing on the cigarette fog and smell of sweat, Sideswipe took the stage. The trio greeted the crowd, noted their realization of everyones intent for attendance (the heart of the show, MxPx), and then blasted some hardcore punk out into the pit which received a shove here and there. The singer begged the audience to mosh to the bands music before getting boo'ed off the stage and expressing his distaste with the crowd.

After much waiting and endless roadies and soundchecks, Spudgun took the stage. The jagged hardcore of the band blew up into the closed-in area and pounded your head in for the duration of the performance. After their set, the relatively quiet frontman thanked the audience as he and his band left the stage for a seat at the bar.

When MxPx finally found their place on stage the crowd was ready. Without a word they opened the set up with the first 30 seconds of Slowing Going the Way of the Buffalo's "Tommorow's Another Day", then lead singer/bassist Mike Herrera made his friendly introduction: "Hey guys, what's up? We're MxPx...once we start were not gonna stop." With that they continued the upbeat tune and no one locked in the small pit was safe from moshers. Kids slammed together, legs flew in the air, people waded across a sea of hands.

Despite their introductory statement, MxPx did slow down long enough to plug their new album and thank the kids for coming out. They unleashed addictive punk that allowed no one to stand still. With raw power, the band played tracks from every album, including the majority of new tracks from the "Buffalo" CD.

After about an hour and a half (20 songs worth) of pure punk and crowd- pleasing tunes (to which every member of the audience knew every word) like "Teenage Politics," "Today Is In My Way," "Doing Time," the new single "I'm Okay, You're Okay," and of course "Chick Magnet." They closed the show with two choice songs starting appropriately enough with "Punk Rawk Show," and following the statement, "Hey guys, thanks a lot for coming. We wanna thank Spudgun and Sideswipe for playing. And if you've ever seen us live you know what were about to play..." And with that they exploded into the hardcore punk of their debut album's most memorable track and theme song "PxPx" with the lyrics you just have to scream with them: "POKINATCHA! PUNX!"

Afterwards MxPx stood around outside to talk to the kids who came out to see them (if they didnt get a chance to chat with them before the show hanging out in subway). They are a really nice group of guys who, without a doubt, put on a great show. If you get a chance to see them before they finish up their tour, I wouldn't pass it up.

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